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PEACE IN PROBLEM TIMES

John 14:27-31

  • On a scale of 1 to 10, how “peace-filled” is my life?
  • Many people live without hardly any peace in their lives, which is a miserable way to live.
  • Jesus – “The thief’s purpose is to steal and kill and destroy. My purpose is to give them a rich and satisfying life.” (John 10:10)
  • We won’t experience the vibrant and victorious life Jesus offers us until we learn how to live peace-filled lives.
  • Jesus – “I am leaving you with a gift – peace of mind and heart. And the peace I give is a gift the world cannot give.” (John 14:27)
  • What does it take for us to live a “Peace-Filled life”?

Living A Peace-Filled Life Requires:
PLUGGING INTO THE LORD’S PRESENCE

  • Jesus – “I have told you these things, so that in Me you may have peace.” (John 16:33)
  • Since Jesus is the “Prince of Peace” (Isaiah 9:6-7), we experience His peace when we “plug into” His presence.
  • Jesus – “Abide in Me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit by itself, unless it abides in the vine, neither can you, unless you abide in Me.” (John 15:4)
  • Activities that help us “abide in the Lord” include: 1) Praying daily, 2) Reading God’s Word daily, 3) Attending Church faithfully, 4) Attending a Life Group weekly, 5) Listening to Christian music and 6) Living godly.
  • “In Your presence (O Lord) is fullness of joy; at Your right hand are pleasures forevermore.” (Psalm 16:11)

Living A Peace-Filled Life Requires:
MAKING THANKFULNESS A DAILY PRACTICE

  • “Let the peace that comes from Christ rule in your hearts. . . . And always be thankful.” (Colossians 3:15)
  • We should spend time daily thanking the Lord for who He is to us, what He’s done for us, and what He’s promised to us.
  • “Always be joyful. Never stop praying. Be thankful in all circumstances…” (1 Thessalonians 5:16-18)
  • When we’re focused on being grateful God becomes bigger in our mind and our problems become smaller – which brings peace to our heart and mind.

Living A Peace-Filled Life Requires:
TRUSTING IN THE LORD’S PROVISION

  • When we worry all or much of the time we are robbing ourselves of peace.
  • “Don’t worry about anything; instead, pray about everything. Tell God what you need, and thank Him for all He has done. If you do this, you will experience God’s peace.” (Philippians 4:6-7)
  • The Lord is able and willing to provide for those needs when we put our faith and trust in Him.
  • Paul – “This same God who takes care of me will supply all your needs from His glorious riches, which have been given to us in Christ Jesus.” (Philippians 4:19)

Living A Peace-Filled Life Requires:
LIVING BY THE LORD’S PRINCIPLES

  • The Hebrew word for peace is “shalom” which means “to be whole or complete.”
    • We can’t be “whole or complete” and we won’t have peace in our hearts until the Lord is first in our lives.
    • Jesus – “Seek the Kingdom of God above all else, and live righteously, and He will give you everything you need.” (Matthew 6:33)
  • The Greek word for peace is “eirene” which means “to be in agreement or harmony.”
    • When we live in disobedience we are stating that we don’t agree with God’s way of doing things, and therefore we won’t be recipients of His peace.
    • “‘There is no peace for the wicked,’ says the Lord.” (Isaiah 48:22)
    • We can’t have peace in our heart and life without obedience to the Lord.
    • “Since we have been made right with God by our faith (in Jesus Christ), we have peace with God.” (Romans 5:1)
    • When we are at “peace with God” we will have the “peace of God” in our lives.

Living A Peace-Filled Life Requires:
RELYING ON THE LORD’S PROMISES

  • Jesus – “Remember what I told you: I am going away, but I will come back to you again…I have told you these things before they happen so that when they do happen, you will believe.” (John 14:28-29)
  • Jesus left His Disciples and now resides in Heaven (Acts 1:9-11); but as promised He still lives daily in His follower’s lives through His Spirit (John 14:16-17).
  • The Lord – “I will never leave you nor forsake you.” (Hebrews 13:5)
  • “(God) Himself has said, ‘I will not in any way fail you nor give you up nor leave you – I will not, I will not, I will not in any degree leave you helpless nor forsake you nor let you down, nor relax my hold on you. I will not, I will not, I will not’!” (Hebrews 13:5 AMP)
  • Jesus – “Don’t be troubled or afraid.” (John 14:27)
  • Distress and Fear are what primarily rob us of peace in our hearts and lives (Matthew 6:25-33, 2 Timothy 1:7)
  • Distress and Fear causes us to become frail, frustrated and failures (1 Timothy 5:23, 2 Timothy 1:6-12), and robs us of our peace.
  • The Lord – “This is My command – be strong and courageous! Do not be afraid or discouraged. For the Lord your God is with you wherever you go.” (Joshua 1:9)
  • We don’t ever have to be overcome by our fears because we have the presence and power of the Lord available to us in our lives.
  • “Because you belong to Christ Jesus, God will bless you with peace that no one can completely understand. And this peace will control the way you think and feel.” (Philippians 4:7 CEV)
  • What steps do I need to take to better have the “peace of the Lord” in my life?

DAILY PRAYER FOR THIS WEEK – “Lord, I want to live a “peace-filled life.” So, help me to seek Your presence, express gratitude for my blessings, trust in Your provision, live by Your principles, and believe Your promises so that I will live a “peace-filled life” rather than a “fear-filled” or “worry-filled” life. In the name of Jesus.”

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FIRST STEPS is the membership course for Celebration Church. This four-week course is designed to help the participant understand his first steps at Celebration Church, all the while setting him up for his next steps of growth and service.

  • Introduces Salvation, Baptism and Christian Growth.
  • History and Vision of Celebration
  • Promotes Worship Service Attendance and Church Involvement
  • Introduces Celebration Statement of Beliefs
  • Launches Participants into Life Group
  • Introduces Celebration Serve Team Categories
  • Launches Participants into Serve Teams
  • Introduces Celebration Church Values and Spiritual Freedom
  • Reviews Membership Expectations
  • Launches Participants towards NEXT STEPS and DISCIPLESHIP PATHWAYS

The FIRST STEPS course takes place on four consecutive weeks

(Lesson One = Week One, Lesson Two = Week Two…). If someone misses a week one month, they can return the following month and make it up. Although people can start at any point, the flow of the course works better if they begin on Week one.

PASTORS ARTICLE

Hello Church Members and Guests,

Welcome to Celebration Church, where God is met, Love is felt, and Lives are changed. Even in the difficult times we’re experiencing right now in the New Orleans region we are seeing people encounter the Lord, experiencing God’s love through our people, and seeing people’s lives change. We praise the Lord that He is working in such great ways during these times.

One of the ways that the Lord has been working through the Celebration Congregation is through our Disaster Relief ministry. In the past couple of weeks we’ve partnered with Mercy Chefs to provide 210,000 meals to people in the communities around our Campuses. We’ve also been sending out teams to tarp people’s roofs, trim and remove trees, clean out homes, etc. And we’ve been distributing lots of relief supplies at our different campuses. Contact us at www.celebrationchurch.org/disasterrelief or use this form if you want to volunteer, give to our Disaster Relief effort or if you need help in some way. It’s a great privilege to serve the Lord by serving people all of the time, but especially during difficult times like we’re going through.

Today we’re beginning a new sermon series titled, TRIUMPH OVER TROUBLE. We’re beginning this series, based on the teachings of Jesus just before He was arrested, tried and crucified (John 14-16), because so many of our people are experiencing great trouble at this time in their lives. Lots of people have experienced trouble because of Hurricane Ida – losses of electricity, damage to their homes and workplaces, schools being shut down for a period of time, and financial struggles because of the hurricane disruption. And others are experiencing troubles because of health, financial or relational situations. Whatever our struggles and troubles we can count on Jesus’ help for our lives. In John 16:33 Jesus, “Here on earth you will have many trials and sorrows. But take heart, because I have overcome the world.” We’re going to learn from this series how to trust in the promises, power and provision of Jesus when going through troublesome times. We will resume our WRITTEN IN STONE Series based on God’s 10 Commandments later in October.

Next weekend in our Worship Services we be participating in Communion together. Communion Sundays are always a special time of drawing near to the Lord as we remember who He is to us, what He’s done for us, and the fact that He’s coming again for us (1 Corinthians 11:23-25). We will be also be sharing with you our plans for moving forward with our Campuses and Congregations that have been significantly impacted by Hurricane Ida.

As always, we are grateful for the prayer, serving and giving support of our Church family. To learn more about those opportunities, contact your Campus Pastor or one of your Campus Leaders, or email us at info@celebrationchurch.org. And please be sure to let us know today on your Communication Card or at webcc.info how we can pray for and help you.

Dennis Watson

Lead Pastor, Celebration Church

KIDS & TEENS MINISTRIES

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Kidztown Children’s Ministry is all about partnering with parents to disciple the children who attend our church. Our Uptown ministry targets 1st through 4th Grade students, and our Downtown ministry is aimed at Birth to Kindergarten students. Each ministry area is a safe, secure and nurturing educational environment with our leaders and trained volunteers.

The Children’s Ministry of Celebration Church has a three-fold life purpose for every child, which is no different than the purpose for an adult’s life!

We want children to:

• Learn about Jesus
• Live for Jesus
• Let others know about Jesus

Our three-fold life purpose is designed to be experienced by our babies and toddlers just as much as it can be experienced by our elementary students. We want our babies to feel the love of Jesus the minute they come through our doorway.
As songs are sung and stories are read, children will understand that they are special in God’s Kingdom and will begin to open up their hearts and minds to receive the “Good News” of Jesus Christ. Our goal is for every child to become fully devoted followers of Christ, by asking Jesus to be their forever friend!

It is our privilege to partner with parents, grandparents and other significant adults in a child’s life as we embark on this journey together. The precious children that have been entrusted to our loving care are a treasure to us as well. We believe there is no greater call that to make a difference in the life of a child.

Visit our website by clicking the button below to meet our staff or apply to become a volunteer.

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Midpoint is a ministry just for 5th through 7th graders. Because we know that kids at this age are trying to figure out whether they are children or pre-teens, our Midpoint leaders work hard to create a “cool” atmosphere in the context of a very safe and protected environment. Their leaders and pastors teach them an age-appropriate message and then the young people are challenged to talk through how to apply those biblical principles to their lives in small group discussions.

Midpoint meets during all weekend worship services. Students join their parents for the music portion of the service and then are dismissed during the video announcements where leaders take them to their designated ministry area. Midpoint also has periodic outreach events, parties, field trips, games, crafts and other fun experiences centered around 5th through 7th graders.

Visit our website by clicking the button below to meet our staff or apply to become a volunteer.

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The Social Youth Ministry is designed so our teenagers (8th-12th grade) can meet weekly for a fun, exciting, and relevant youth service that focuses on challenging teenagers in their daily lives. This service is planned with the intention of encouraging, motivating, and inspiring young people to overcome the challenges they face in life and to make a difference in the world they live in through Jesus Christ! All of our youth services are relevant to the searching teen, understandable to the new believer, and challenging for the mature believer. Throughout the week youth meet in small groups called Life Groups. Life Groups provide a community experience where teens can share what is happening in their lives and hold each other accountable for following the Bible lessons learned in their weekly Wednesday night service. Visit our website by clicking the button below to meet our staff or apply to become a volunteer.

 

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CHRISTMAS EVE

PASTORS ARTICLE

Dear Celebration Members and Guests,

Welcome to Christmas Eve at Celebration – where God is met, Love is felt and Lives are changed. Our Pastors, Leaders and I pray that you will be encouraged by today’s service.

Christmas is about God’s Son bringing hope and transformation to our world, and at Celebration people from all walks of life are experiencing Lord’s hope, joy and peace. Children and Teens in our Church are growing up to be strong, positive and spiritual individuals. College Students, Single Adults and Couples are learning how to have stronger lives and relationships as they find God’s purpose for their lives. Senior Adults are also finding new purpose as they mentor and minister to the generations that follow them. And many people are finding help, hope and healing for their lives through the ministries of our Church.

Through our Life Group ministry and other ministries, great friendships are being established, people are growing stronger spiritually and relationally, and they are learning how to have a positive influence on the world around them.

We would love for you to join us in upcoming weeks to discover more about God’s purposes and plans for your life, and to learn how you can experience His best in your life. In January we are beginning the TRANSFORMED spiritual growth emphasis. In this special emphasis we’re going to learn how to “transform” our lives, circumstances and relationships so we can become “transformers” of the culture around us.

To benefit fully from TRANSFORMED, our Pastors and I are sharing some critical concepts on upcoming weekends that will help us all prepare to become “transformed.”

  • On December 26-27 we will learn “How God Changes Us.”
  • On December January 2-3 we will learn about “The Five Habits Of Healthy People”
  • On January 9-10 we will learn “How To Have A Great Support System In Our Lives”

In the weeks that follow as we begin TRANSFORMED, we will learn in our Life Groups and In-person and Online Worship Services: 1) How To Set Personal Goals By Faith, 2) How To Get Close To God, 3) How To Move From Stressed To Blessed In Our Lives, 4) How To Change Our Lives By Changing Our Minds, 5) How To Overcome Fears That Ruin Relationships and much more. All of those teachings can be accessed Online as well as in In-person Life Groups and Worship Services. We would love for you to be a part of our TRANSFORMED emphasis.

Also to help people experience the transforming power of the Lord throughout 2021, we’re offering our Journey Through The Bible adventure that begins on January 1. Through daily podcasts and/or written devotions I’m going to be leading our people to read and journey through the entire Bible in 2021 in a way that will help them learn the stories and principles of the Bible and bring transformation to their lives, circumstances and relationships. Don’t miss this opportunity to participate in a great adventure through 2021. Sign up today to be a part of the Journey Through The Bible adventure (www.celebrationchurch.org/devotions).

This month, we are still collecting our EVERYONE NEEDS JESUS Christmas/Missions Offering. Our Christmas/Missions Offering goes directly to support Missionaries, Mission Ministries, and Mission Projects locally and around the world. We ask our People to give to this offering above their regular offering as a “Christmas gift to Jesus” to further support His work. You can give to the Everyone Needs Jesus offering today along with your regular offering, or you can give online at www.celebrationchurch.org/christmasoffering.

Thanks again for joining us for our Christmas service. Merry Christmas to you and your family.

Thanks for joining us today,

Dennis Watson

Lead Pastor, Celebration Church